On Friday, April 26, 2024, the Tampa Free Express reported that Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd harshly criticized a Pittsburgh judge’s handling of a case involving a defendant who subsequently fled to Florida.

The article discusses an incident where Hermas Craddock allegedly led police in Pittsburgh on a high-speed chase in early April, running stop signs and colliding with police cars before abandoning his vehicle. Craddock was arrested and faced charges including fleeing and attempting to elude police and possession of a firearm. However, District Judge Xander Orenstein released Craddock without requiring him to post bail.

Craddock then fled Pennsylvania and was later apprehended in Polk County, Florida on outstanding warrants from his previous charges. Sheriff Judd held a press conference voicing his strong disapproval of Judge Orenstein’s decision to grant Craddock bail without payment. Judd displayed a photo of Orenstein as he lambasted the judge, saying, “This goober smoocher let him go without posting a bond.”

The sheriff pointed out that this was not the first time Orenstein had faced criticism for his bonding decisions. A chief judge in Pittsburgh had previously removed Orenstein from assigning bail after another incident where his ruling was disputed. However, Orenstein continues to preside over criminal cases in the city.

In harsh language, Sheriff Judd accused Orenstein of being unqualified for his position and possessing poor judgment. He advised that Orenstein’s conduct should prompt reconsideration of whether he is fit to serve as a criminal court judge.



Source: Tampa Free Express